Hearing on lower Manhattan Islamic Center reignites debate

Lawyers representing a New York City 9/11 firefighter stand in opposition to so-called "Ground Zero mosque."

By JORDANA HORN, JPOST CORRESPONDENT
March 16, 2011 02:37
1 minute read.
9/11 anniversary ceremony at Ground Zero in NYC

Ground Zero 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

NEW YORK – In a hearing Tuesday in New York State Supreme Court, lawyers representing a New York City 9/11 firefighter stood in opposition to the inaccurately- labeled “Ground Zero mosque” – an Islamic cultural center whose proposed location near Ground Zero has attracted headlines, and vociferous debate since last summer.

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) filed suit last year, challenging the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission’s (LPC) decision not to landmark the building at the proposed site for the Islamic cultural center project, tentatively titled Park 51.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The ACLJ represents Tim Brown, a New York City firefighter and 9/11 responder, and the suit names the LPC, the New York City Department of Buildings, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the developers of Park 51.

Following a motion to dismiss the case, the ACLJ argued in yesterday’s hearing, among other points, that political pressure from Bloomberg’s office forced the LPC’s hand, and requested further discovery.

“We believe there were political influences from the Mayor’s office on the Landmarks Commission,” ACLJ attorney Brett Joshpe told The Jerusalem Post.

Since the respondents have claimed two exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act law, Joshpe added, his organization has not yet been able to tell whether there were direct communications between the two entities – an issue underlying the request for discovery.

Other issues under consideration were whether or not Tim Brown has legitimate grounds to serve as a plaintiff in the suit under New York law.



With last summer’s hue and cry over the issue, alternative sites were proposed by various parties. But as the story has receded from front page headlines, Joshpe said, offers to find or provide alternative locations seem to have been ephemeral.

“I’ve not heard anything of late that would suggest that they’re amenable to that,” Joshpe said, referencing a change of location.

Judge Paul Feinman indicated that a ruling could come as early as four weeks from now.

Related Content

August 18, 2018
Hedging Bets: Turkey Courts Europe Amid Row With U.S.

By KRISTINA JOVANOVSKI/ THE MEDIA LINE